The Girl’s Wisdom
Narrated by Shirguma Soraga
A girl was looking after cattle when a shum (a kind of governor) passed by. He asked her name and she told him.
“Who are your parents?” he asked next.
“I know only my mother. She knows my father.”
The nobleman was angry, thinking she was rude because she didn’t want to tell him her father’s name. He had the father brought to him. He asked the father for his daughter’s hand.
The father told the girl she was going to marry the shum, a very wealthy man. The father had already agreed.
But the shum wanted to play a revenge game. He sent two sacks of mustard and tefA grain grown in the highlands of Ethiopia. seeds mixed together to the father and he told him to separate them (this would result in humiliation because he could not do it). The girl told him to sow the seeds. The mustard and tef grew. The wealthy man saw it – this is the mustard, this is the tef. So the wedding day came.
The second test was, the wealthy man sent a messenger to the father to sign that when he marries the girl she must get pregnant at once and bear a child that same day.
“What shall I do?” he asked her.
“Sign it. Don’t worry,” his daughter said. “I have an idea. Send this message to the wealthy man. If you can prepare a talaBeer. whose barley is ground, which ferments on the very day of our wedding and give me so I can taste it, I can bear you a child.”
So he went everywhere looking for such a tala and he couldn’t find one, so he gave in.
“I can’t find one.”
She said, “Then how can you expect me to conceive and bear a child in one day?”
So saying, they got married and lived happily ever after.
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